A couple of days ago I wrote about the huge numbers of planning consents given to builder and then not used. The Times (paywall) takes up the story on its front page today under the heading Greedy house developers face losing right to build.
Pete Redfern, chief exec of Taylor Wimpey (pay £3,764,000 according to 2016 annual report) tells the newspaper why we should feel sorry for builders:
The fact that somebody could, relatively arbitrarily, impose a volume or production level without understanding of the constraints you have to deal with, both financial and practical, would significantly reduce the appetite of investing in larger sites.
We are a risky business at the best of times, we invest heavily in land, we never quite know where the market is going to be… and if the market downturns significantly then we need to be able to reduce production on that site.
He is defending his industry which, according to The Times, is sitting on almost a million housing plots. “Although planning permission was granted on 1,725,382 housing units in England between 2006 and 2014, only 816,450 had been completed after three years,” the paper says.